ATL s guide to the Teachers Pension Scheme

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1 ATL s guide to the Teachers Pension Scheme Association of Teachers and Lecturers

2 Association of Teachers and Lecturers ATL. Publications and a whole lot more. As the leading union that promotes education, ATL exists to protect and improve the professional interests of teachers, lecturers and all staff involved in providing education. We support our members with unrivalled research, publications and advice, in all aspects of their professional and working lives. ATL. There to help. ATL provides expert legal advice and representation for all members. A network of experienced solicitors and caseworkers are ready to help members with any legal problem they may encounter at work. ATL. An authoritative voice. As a highly infl uential trade union and professional association, ATL can be relied on to promote the interests of its members and the cause of education at every opportunity. Decision-makers listen to ATL s views because of its constructive approach, based upon the experience of members real practitioners, reporting from the front line of the profession. ATL. Not a member? To be part of the Association that puts education fi rst and for complete protection and peace of mind in the classroom, join the Association of Teachers and Lecturers today. If you re a newly qualifi ed teacher, membership is FREE for the fi rst year. All other new members benefi t from a 50% discount off membership for the same period. You can join online by setting up a Direct Debit* at Alternatively phone us on ** For a free copy of the ATL publications catalogue, please contact the ATL despatch line on * terms and conditions at ** local rates apply

3 1 Introduction 3 2 Membership of the Teachers Pension Scheme 4 Northern Ireland 5 Scotland 5 The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man 5 Local Government Pension Scheme 5 3 Contributions 6 4 Normal pension age 7 Normal pension age at 60 7 Normal pension age at How benefits are calculated 8 Pensionable salary 8 Part-time and supply teachers 8 Reckonable service 9 Benefit statement 9 How your pension benefits are calculated 9 6 Leaving before normal pension age 10 Ill-health retirement 10 Sick leave 10 Exhausting sick pay entitlement 10 Sick leave and pension benefits 11 Applying for ill-health benefits 11 Medical or consultant s reports 12 Termination of employment 14 Ill-health retirement categories 14 Total incapacity benefi t 15 Partial incapacity benefi t 15 Calculation of ill-health retirement benefi ts 15 Enhancement of reckonable service 15 Terminally ill teachers or lecturers 15 Premature retirement 16 Effi cient discharge of the employers function 16 Redundancy 16 Enhancement 16 Severance payments 17 Actuarially reduced benefits 17 Preserved benefits 18 Reaching normal pension age 18 Transferring to another pension scheme 18 7 Phased retirement benefits 19 Phased retirement over normal pension age 19 8 Death benefits 20 Death in service 20 Death after retirement 20 Teachers with preserved benefits 20 Claiming the death grant 20 contents THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS 1

4 9 Survivor s benefits 21 Wife 21 Husband 21 Civil partner 21 Unmarried partner 21 Survivor s pension benefits 22 Short-term pensions 22 Long-term pensions 22 Children s pensions 23 Children s pension when a survivor s pension is in payment 23 Children s pension when a survivor s pension is not in payment Improving your pension benefits 24 Additional pension benefits 24 Additional pension 24 Additional dependents pension 24 How much will it cost? 24 Additional lump sum 24 Past added years 24 Current added years 25 Additional voluntary contributions 25 Lifetime allowance 25 Recycling 25 A Day 25 Repaying previously withdrawn service 26 Stakeholder pension Pension increases 27 First year of retirement 27 Premature retirement 27 Ill-health retirement 27 Survivor s pensions 27 Preserved benefits 27 Living abroad Approaching retirement 28 Termination of employment 28 Additional voluntary contributions Re-employment after retirement 29 Abatement 29 Salary of reference 29 Earnings limit 29 Notifying Teachers Pensions 29 Enhanced pensions 29 Actuarially reduced pension benefits 30 Ill-health retirement pensioners 30 Retirement date 30 Prior to 31 March Between 31 March December From 1 January Re-employment after redundancy 31 Elected further employment Useful contacts 32 2 THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS

5 Introduction Teachers pensions are crucially important to the vast majority of our members. ATL has been working with its colleague unions, employers and government to negotiate the changes that will give the best possible revised arrangements for members. This is perhaps the most important pensions development for many years. 1 There is no doubt that, given the circumstances in public sector pensions, the outcome of the negotiations is an excellent one. The revised scheme will apply to all new members from 1 January The date itself represents a signifi cant achievement for the negotiators, as this was fi rst proposed for implementation at September The delay until January 2007 has allowed an additional cohort of new entrants to teaching to have a retirement age of 60. The revised method of calculating the pensionable salary is also a major victory. When negotiations on restructuring started, ATL highlighted the potential problems that would arise from the proposed changes to the safeguarding provisions in the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD). ATL was initially a lone voice highlighting this issue. Even though these negotiations were about pay, it was ATL that raised and pursued the pension implications. Any dispassionate observer would say that the outcome to these intensive negotiations has provided all current and future teachers with one of the best pension schemes around. Please remember that this booklet is intended as an illustrative guide only and does not override Teachers Pensions legislation. As the negotiations on the revisions to the Teachers Pension Scheme have been so intense exact details of some of the changes are not yet available. This booklet contains what is known at this time. Please check with ATL s website or contact the pensions team if you have specifi c queries not covered by this booklet. It is intended to rewrite ATL s popular series of factsheets entitled Understanding the Teachers Pensions Scheme, in line with the revised scheme. THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS 3

6 2 Membership of the Teachers Pension Scheme Membership of the Teachers Pension Scheme is available to all teachers and lecturers working in maintained schools and colleges in England and Wales. This includes voluntary aided, voluntary controlled, Trust schools and academies. If you are employed full-time you will automatically be entered into the Teachers Pensions Scheme. From 1 January 2007 if you take up a part-time post you will be automatically be entered into the Teachers Pensions Scheme. If you do not wish to contribute to the Teachers Pensions Scheme you must contact Teachers Pensions to opt out of the Scheme. You may wish to seek fi nancial advice before deciding to opt out of the Scheme. If you are currently in part-time employment and have not elected to join the Scheme then you will remain out of the Scheme until either you elect to join or you move to another full- or part-time post. Centrally employed teachers who are paid under the STPCD will be eligible for membership of the Teachers Pension Scheme. Centrally employed staff who are paid on the Soulbury pay scale may be eligible for membership in certain circumstances. Teachers and lecturers in this position should check with their employer. Independent schools can apply for membership of the Teachers Pension Scheme. If the school is in membership of the Teachers Pension Scheme then all teachers employed at the school are eligible to join. You should check with your school s bursar to see if the school has membership of the Teachers Pensions Scheme. All employers must offer a pension scheme to their employees. There is, however, no requirement for employers to make a contribution into the scheme, except into the Teachers Pensions Scheme. 4 THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS

7 Northern Ireland Teachers in Northern Ireland are eligible for membership of the Northern Ireland Superannuation Scheme (NISS). The NISS has not yet undergone the same changes as the Teachers Pension Scheme; however, it is likely that similar changes will be made in the near future. Teachers in Northern Ireland should continue to use the series of factsheets entitled Understanding the Teachers Pension Scheme, and check ATL s website for updates until further notice. Scotland The Scottish Teachers Pension Scheme is broadly similar to the Teachers Pensions Scheme although they have not completed their review, and so many of the changes introduced at 1 January 2007 will not have been implemented. The Scottish Teachers Pension Scheme is administered by the Scottish Public Pensions Agency. You can visit their website at: teachers/home.htm. The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man have their own pension schemes. You should contact your employer or your ATL branch secretary for details. Teachers who have transferred service from the Teachers Pension Scheme into the Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man pension scheme, who wish to return to England or Wales to teach, will be treated as new entrants with a normal pension age of 65. A teacher who still has service in the Teachers Pension Scheme in England and Wales and returns to teaching will retain a normal pension age of 60 if they return by 31 December 2007 or have been out of the Scheme for less than fi ve years. Local Government Pension Scheme Details of the Local Government Pension Scheme can be found at: THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS 5

8 3 Contributions Employee contributions to the Teachers Pension Scheme were increased from six percent to 6.4% with effect from 1 January If you receive a payment backdated prior to 1 January 2007 (i.e. a threshold payment backdated to 1 September 2006) you should pay a six percent pension contribution on the salary, which was due to 31 December Employer contributions to the Teachers Pension Scheme were increased from 13.5% to 14.1% with effect from 1 January The employer contribution will be reduced to 14% with effect from The employer contribution will be limited from then on to a maximum of 14%. ATL deputy general secretary, Gerald Imison, writes: Members might ask: Why should I have to pay more for my pension? Firstly, the teachers contribution rate has always had the potential for variation, as the Scheme goes through a valuation every four years. While the changes have normally been to the employer s contribution, this has never had to be the case, which is why the teachers unions agreed, in the end, to a cap on the employers contribution from The 2004 valuation showed that an increase of 0.8% of total contributions was needed. ATL s Executive Committee decided that an increase of 0.2% was acceptable. While current members retain their right to retire at age 60, those entering the Scheme from 2007 will only be entitled to their full pension at age 65. If existing scheme members retained a six percent contribution rate, even if they accepted the 0.2% increase arising from the 2004 valuation, the younger and less wellpaid teachers would have been faced with a signifi cantly higher contribution rate. Part of this would have funded the improvements for existing members and that did not seem fair. Bearing in mind the improvements on offer the Executive Committee decided that it would support a further 0.2% increase in making a teacher s contribution 6.4% from January THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS

9 Normal pension age Your normal pension age is the age at which you may draw your pension benefi ts in full. There are two normal pension ages within the Teachers Pension Scheme. 4 Normal pension age at 60 If you fall within the following categories you will have a normal pension age of age 60: if you joined the Teachers Pension Scheme prior to 1 January 2007; if you have service in the Teachers Pension Scheme prior to 1 January 2007 and have a break in service of less than fi ve years 1 ; if you have service in the Teachers Pension Scheme prior to 1 January 2007 and return to service prior to 31 December ; if you return to pensionable employment whilst drawing a teacher s pension from a normal pension age of 60. Normal pension age at 65 If you fall within the following categories you will have a normal pension age of 65: 1 The minimum amount of service required to retain your normal pension age of 60 is a total of 30 reckonable days, or some pensionable employment on 60 days in any one year, or 13 weeks on a regular contract. if you joined the Teachers Pension Scheme on or after 1 January 2007; if you have service in the Teachers Pension Scheme prior to 1 January 2007 and have a break in service of more than fi ve years and do not return to service prior to 31 December (Reckonable service credited prior to 1 January 2007 will retain a normal pension age of 60); If you return to pensionable employment whilst drawing a teacher s pension from a normal pension age of 65. You are not able to elect to change your normal pension age. THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS 7

10 5 How benefits are calculated Benefi ts payable by teachers pensions are calculated by reference to: your pensionable salary; your total of reckonable service; and your normal pension age. Pensionable salary Your pensionable salary is the salary Teachers Pensions will use to calculate your pension benefi ts. It is not your annual salary at retirement. When calculating your pensionable salary Teachers Pensions will undertake up to four separate calculations. The ways of calculating your pensionable salary are: Final salary Teachers Pensions will calculate the full-time equivalent salary paid in the 365 days prior to your retirement. This calculation will be undertaken for all retirements on or after 1 January years prior to retirement Teachers Pensions will consider your salary over the 10 years prior to your retirement. Each salary will be increased in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI). Teachers Pensions will then identify the highest salary over three consecutive years. Teachers Pensions will then use the average of these three years to arrive at your pensionable salary. This calculation will be undertaken for all retirements on or after 1 January Pre-1 January 2007 Teachers Pensions will use the best consecutive 365 days of salary within the last three years of teaching prior to your retirement. This calculation will only be undertaken for those teachers with a normal pension age of 60 years for retirements on or before 31 December 2008; and for teachers who were out of service at 1 January 2007 and who do not return to service before retirement. Hypothetical award A hypothetical award calculation will be undertaken by Teachers Pensions when you have had a break in service. In all cases the most beneficial calculation will be used to determine your pension benefits. Part-time and supply teachers If you are a part-time teacher your pensionable salary will be calculated with reference to the full-time equivalent salary appropriate for your post. If you are a supply teacher Teachers Pensions will use 195 days of supply salary to fi nd an annual salary rate. As teachers salaries increase annually, the more supply work that you undertake close to retirement the higher your pensionable salary will be. 8 THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS

11 Reckonable service Reckonable service is the total amount of time you have contributed to the Teachers Pensions Scheme. Reckonable service is calculated in the following ways: if you work full-time, one year of reckonable service is added to your record for each year of teaching; if you are a regular part-time teacher you will be credited with a proportion of a year for each calendar year of teaching; if you are an irregular (i.e. supply) teacher you need to work for 195 days to accrue one year of reckonable service. All service on which you pay pension contributions will be added to your total of reckonable service at Teachers Pensions. Supply organised through an agency is not pensionable. Benefit statement You will receive a statement of your pension benefi ts from Teachers Pensions each year based on information held on your service record. This will include all service up to 31 March of that year. It is important that you check that the service that you think you have worked is refl ected on this statement. If you think that there is service missing please contact your employer in the fi rst instance to ensure that the information has been passed to Teachers Pensions. ATL recommends that you retain copies of your pay slips in case there is a query with your pension contributions at a later date. You will not receive a benefi t statement if you are out of reckonable service. How your pension benefits are calculated Your pension will be calculated in one of the following ways: Normal pension age 60 You will receive an annual pension of 1/80th of your pensionable salary for each year of service. In addition you will receive a tax-free lump sum of 3/80ths of your pensionable salary for each year of service. You will also have the option to commute part of your pension to increase your lump sum. For each 1 of annual pension you commute you will receive 12 of lump sum. Normal pension age 65 You will receive an annual pension of 1/60th of your pensionable salary for each year of service. There is no automatic entitlement to an automatic lump sum; however you will have the option to commute part of your annual pension into a tax-free lump sum. For each 1 of annual pension you commute you will receive 12 of lump sum. THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS 9

12 6 Leaving before normal pension age Ill-health retirement If you are too ill to continue teaching you may be eligible for the award of ill-health retirement. Ill-health retirement will only be granted to you if medical evidence shows that you are permanently incapacitated from teaching on both a full- and part-time basis. The decision to retire on the grounds of ill-health is a major step that should not be taken hastily, certainly not before you are fully aware of your fi nancial position after retirement. In recent years it has become much more diffi cult to obtain ill-health benefi ts in England and Wales as you now have to be permanently incapacitated from both full-time and part-time teaching or lecturing. If your condition may improve after appropriate medical treatment, even if you do not wish to undergo the treatment, you are not eligible to receive ill-health benefi ts. However, you do not have to be unfi t for all forms of employment. Sick leave If you are employed under the nationally agreed conditions of service (i.e. The Conditions of Service for School Teachers in England and Wales [the Burgundy Book]) and you have completed more than three years of employment you are entitled to sick leave on full pay for 100 working days followed by a further 100 working days on half pay. Days when a school is closed are excluded from this calculation, which effectively entitles you to approximately one year of paid sick leave. The Burgundy Book states that a sick leave year starts on 1 April. If, prior to your current period of sick leave, you have taken sick leave after 1 April, then this will count as part of your entitlement. Any sick leave prior to 1 April is part of the previous year s entitlement and is not taken into account. If you were sick prior to 1 April and did not return until after that date, the period from 1 April until your return counts as part of the previous year s entitlement. If you are employed in an FE college or independent school you should check your contract for details of your sick leave entitlement. Exhausting sick pay entitlement You are advised to time your application for ill-health benefi ts carefully if you want to guarantee the maximum amount of sick leave. It is also advisable not to let your employer know that you eventually intend to apply for ill-health benefi ts. If you do, you may fi nd that your employer tries to terminate your employment on the grounds of ill-health, even though you have not been awarded ill-health benefi ts. The application should not normally be submitted until your full pay ceases; in many cases, it is necessary for the application to be submitted even later if you want to exhaust your entitlement to sick pay. Employers are becoming increasingly aware of the costs of sick pay and many will 10 THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS

13 not allow you to exhaust your entitlement to it. You do not have an automatic right to exhaust your entitlement to sick pay. Many employers have adopted a policy for managing sick leave and teachers and lecturers on sick leave may be required to have an occupational health medical. If this shows that you are unfi t to return to teaching, your employer may suggest that you apply for ill-health retirement. Some employers may seek to terminate the employment on the grounds of illhealth after a recommendation by occupational health, despite the fact that their employee has not been awarded ill-health retirement or does not wish to apply for ill health retirement. Any teacher or lecturer in this position should contact ATL s London offi ce for advice. Sick leave and pension benefits A prolonged period of paid sick leave does not affect your entitlement to pension benefi ts under the Teachers Pension Scheme. Any periods during which you are receiving at least half salary count as normal reckonable service. Your sick leave record will be taken into account when eligibility for ill-health benefi ts is considered. It is diffi cult for Teachers Pensions to decide that you are unfi t to teach if you are currently working. The only exception may be if you are suffering from a deteriorating physical condition and it is clear that you are either only working with great diffi culty or will be unable to work in the very near future. It is advisable for you to exhaust your entitlement to sick pay before retiring: this ensures that reckonable service is increased, as is the average salary on which the pension is calculated. Understandably, some teachers and lecturers do not want to take sick leave because of the effect on their pupils or students. However, ATL urges members in this position to put their own interests fi rst, particularly as teachers and lecturers who struggle on frequently fi nd that this results in their application being rejected. Applying for ill-health benefits If you intend to exhaust your entitlement to sick pay before retiring, ATL would advise you not to inform your school, college or employer that you intend to apply for ill-health benefi ts until you decide to obtain the application form. When asked about future plans, it is best to say that you have not yet made a decision but, if ill-health forces you to opt for retirement, you will naturally notify your employer. You should not be pressurised into making a decision. If you are one of the rare teachers or lecturers who are awarded ill-health benefi ts while still working, you will have to stop active teaching or lecturing immediately. Therefore in order to avoid having to retire earlier than you had intended, it is important not to submit your application too early. There are two forms that you need to complete to apply for ill-health retirement. Form Ill Health App has two sections. You complete Part A then hand the form to your employer to complete. Form Ill Health Med contains the medical information. You may either have this form completed by your own GP or consultant or by your employer s occupational THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS 11

14 health adviser. There are guidance notes available with the Form Ill Health Med to inform your doctor what medical information is required by Teachers Pensions. You should forward both forms to your employer. Your employer will pass the Form Ill Health Med to its occupational health adviser. If your doctor or consultant has completed the Ill Health Med your employer should have procedures in place to ensure that it is not seen by anyone other than the occupational health adviser. It will be the responsibility of any employer s occupational health adviser to ensure that all the appropriate medical evidence and any other supporting information (such as clinical fi ndings, correspondence or reports) has been obtained before your application is sent to Teachers Pensions. If there is insuffi cient medical evidence for an application to be granted, Teachers Pensions will not seek further medical evidence. Therefore, any application that does not contain suffi cient evidence that you are permanently incapacitated from both full and part-time teaching or lecturing will be rejected. The time taken to collate the necessary medical evidence by occupational health advisers varies considerably from area to area. If your employer s occupational health adviser does not believe that you meet the criteria for ill-health retirement you can still proceed with an application. It is for you to decide to apply for ill-health retirement not your employer s occupational health adviser. However, in these circumstances you should be prepared for your application to be unsuccessful. When your application is submitted, your employer will be asked to confi rm that redeployment and any other measures that would enable you to remain in teaching or lecturing, such as reasonable adjustments under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, have been considered. Provided you are in employment when you submit your application, your employer will be responsible for the cost of doctors reports, even if your entitlement to sick pay has expired. If you are not in employment when you submit your application you will have to pay the fees yourself. Medical or consultant s reports The decision to award ill-health benefi ts is made not by your employer but by the DfES appointed Medical Adviser on the basis of medical evidence. A medical report can be submitted by a GP, local authority (LA) medical offi cer, or a consultant. You should ask the most appropriate doctor to submit the report or you may be liable to pay additional medical fees. If you are being seen by a consultant, s/he is likely to be the most appropriate doctor. However, if you suffer from several conditions for which you are seeing one or more consultants your GP may be the best person to submit the report, as s/he will be able to give more complete details of your ill-health. S/he should enclose copies of all relevant consultant s reports when returning the medical report. If you are in the maintained sector and your employer s doctor has already recommended retirement, it may be preferable for the report to come from her/him. 12 THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS

15 A LA occupational health physician, who has been in contact with Teachers Pension doctors, has advised ATL that the medical report will need to demonstrate that: the teacher or lecturer is incapacitated, due to some medical condition, from serving effi ciently as a full- and part-time teacher or lecturer; the incapacity is permanent; appropriate treatment was tried and has failed, or is judged unlikely, to overcome the incapacity. Teachers Pensions no longer asks your GP for her/his opinion as to whether you are permanently incapable of teaching or lecturing. However, ATL advises that your GP should still give her/his opinion. The occupational health physician also advised ATL that, where a consultant s report (see below) stating the diagnosis and prognosis has already been obtained by a GP, a copy should be sent to Teachers Pensions. This should facilitate the decision-making process. Please note: it is important that your doctor mentions all of your health problems, not just the one which is causing you to apply for ill-health benefi ts. Many applications are turned down initially because of inadequate information on the medical report. For example, details of previous relevant illness should be given even if they were a few years ago. The medical advisers have been informed that they should only request further medical evidence in rare cases. If your application is turned down because of insuffi cient medical evidence you may appeal or submit a fresh application with fuller proof of your permanent incapacity. However, if you appeal you will be responsible for any fees charged by your doctor or consultant(s). According to the DfES circular Fitness to Teach: Occupational health guidance for the training and employment of teachers, teachers or lecturers who are suffering from depression who have not been assessed by a psychiatrist are unlikely to qualify for ill-health benefi ts. In general, applications for ill-health retirement on mental health grounds are more likely to succeed if supported by a report by the treating specialist confi rming that adequate doses of antidepressants and treatments such as cognitive behaviour therapies have been attempted. The circular goes on to say that teachers or lecturers suffering from stress are unlikely to qualify for ill-health benefi ts in the absence of a formal diagnosis of physiological or physical problems that are likely to be permanent. Teachers or lecturers with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will normally have to have suffered from the condition for four years in order for an application for ill-health benefi ts to be successful. You may wish to show your doctor this section of the guidance. Teachers Pensions will meet the cost of the medical report and any other reports that it requests. You should ask your GP or consultant to let you have a copy of your medical THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS 13

16 report(s), as this will save time if your application is unsuccessful and you decide to submit an appeal. Termination of employment If your application for ill-health retirement is successful you are deemed to have resigned from employment and there is no need for the employer to serve notice of dismissal. In the absence of any earlier date being agreed with the employer, the date of resignation will in all likelihood be taken to be the day immediately before the ill-health retirement benefi ts become payable. When you are awarded ill-health retirement your employer is notifi ed that your application has been successful and is asked to complete Form 18(a) giving, among other information, details of your bank account and your last day of service. (If you are not employed when you are awarded ill-health retirement, Teachers Pensions will write to you requesting details of your bank). The Form 18(a) is then returned to Teachers Pensions. Once Teachers Pensions have received the Form 18(a) it requires 10 working days in which to calculate your pension benefi ts and put them into payment. Therefore, when you are notifi ed that your application is successful you should immediately contact your employer and ask for your last day of service to be at least 20 days later in order to avoid being without salary or pension. 2 If you are in excluded employment i.e. employment that would have been pensionable, but for the fact that you opted out of the Teachers Pension Scheme or part-time employment that you have not elected to make pensionable, your pension benefi ts will begin from the day following your last day of excluded employment. 3 For applications received by Teachers Pensions on or before 5 January 2007 please refer to Factsheet four of ATL s Understanding the Teachers Pension Scheme, available to download at If your employer will not agree and asserts that your employment has in fact terminated immediately, Teachers Pensions will backdate your pension to the day following your last day of employment 2. However if your sick pay ran out some time ago Teachers Pensions Regulations do not permit your pension to be backdated more than six months prior to the date of your last medical report on which the decision to award your ill-health retirement was based. If you have completed the minimum qualifying period for Teachers Pension Scheme benefi ts (two years for the vast majority of teachers and lecturers) and if you are under normal pensionable age when ill-health forces you to leave the profession, you are eligible to apply for ill-health benefi ts. Ill-health benefi ts consist of a pension (which is taxable) and a tax-free lump sum. Teachers and lecturers who have been barred from teaching or lecturing because of misconduct, or who are under investigation for misconduct, are not eligible to receive ill-health benefi ts. If you have been accused of misconduct, your application cannot be granted until your case has been investigated. If you are not subsequently barred from teaching or lecturing, then the award of your ill-health pension will be backdated to the date that you left teaching or lecturing. Interest will be paid on both the arrears of pension and lump sum. You should not submit your resignation until your application has been considered by Teachers Pensions. Ill-health retirement categories For applications for ill-health retirement received at Teachers Pensions after 5 January there are two tiers of ill-health retirement: 14 THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS

17 Total incapacity benefi t (TIB); Partial incapacity benefi t (PIB). For both categories you must satisfy Teachers Pensions medical advisers that you are permanently incapacitated from teaching or lecturing on a full or parttime basis. Total incapacity benefit You will be assessed as TIB if you are determined to be unable to undertake any gainful employment or only capable of doing a job that would be greatly below the overall weight of the job of a teacher or lecturer. Partial incapacity benefit You will be assessed as PIB if you are determined to be permanently incapable of teaching but capable of undertaking a range of other types of work. The decision as to whether you are awarded TIB or PIB will be determined by the DfES medical adviser, based upon the medical evidence submitted with your application. It is therefore important that your application and supporting medical evidence is as comprehensive as possible. You will be able to appeal against the decision if you feel that you have been awarded the wrong level of benefi ts. If your application is unsuccessful you may appeal or submit a further application. Calculation of ill-health retirement benefits Ill-health retirement benefi ts are calculated in the same way as other pensions. However, if you are awarded TIB then you will be awarded an enhanced pension and lump sum in addition to your accrued pension benefi ts. Enhancement of reckonable service If you are awarded PIB then you are not entitled to receive an enhancement to your ill-health retirement pension or lump sum. If you are awarded TIB then you will be entitled to enhancement of half your prospective service to your normal retirement age. Terminally ill teachers or lecturers If you are terminally ill you may, subject to the production of medical evidence, commute your pension to a lump sum payment. Your doctor will need to state that your life expectancy is likely to be less than one year. If you commute your pension you will receive a lump sum equal to fi ve times your annual pension. The commuted pension is payable in addition to your retirement lump sum. You will not receive a pension if you decide to commute your pension benefi ts. Commutation does not affect the amount of survivor s benefi ts paid. If you wish to commute your pension you need to tick the appropriate box on Form Ill Health Med when making your application. Before making a decision to commute your pension benefi ts you may wish to obtain advice from the pensions team at ATL s London offi ce, who will be able to compare the benefi ts that would be paid if you died in service with commutation or with the fi ve-year pension guarantee 4. 4 If you die within fi ve years of retirement Teachers Pensions will calculate the value of fi ve years pension. This will then be paid to your next of kin less any pension already paid. THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS 15

18 Premature retirement If your employment is terminated on the grounds of redundancy or in the effi cient discharge of the employer s function it is possible for your employer to grant you premature retirement. You do not have a right to premature retirement and the decision is made by your employer. To be eligible for premature retirement you will need to satisfy the following criteria: be aged-50 or over (from 2010 the lowest age premature retirement can be granted will be raised to 55); you must be on a permanent contract (if you are on a fi xed-term contract you will not be eligible for premature retirement); you must have at least two years reckonable service. Your employer will have to pay part of the cost of your lump sum and pension for the rest of your life. The balance is paid by Teachers Pensions. Efficient discharge of the employers function If your employment is terminated on the grounds of the effi cient discharge of the employer s function it is not intended as a refl ection on the quality of your work. This action is taken by employers in a wide variety of circumstances e.g. when early retirement would help the school to cope with changing curriculum needs. Redundancy If you are made redundant over the age of 50 you are not automatically entitled to immediate payment of your pension benefi ts in addition to your redundancy payment. If you are considering volunteering for redundancy you may wish to check that the package will include premature retirement. For further information on redundancy please refer to the appropriate ATL publication: Redundancy in Maintained Schools or Redundancy in Further Education. Enhancement Although you can be awarded premature retirement after completing two years of reckonable service, you can only be granted enhancement if you have completed fi ve years of reckonable service. If you are awarded enhancement along with your premature retirement your employer will be responsible for paying the full cost of your additional pension and lump sum. The maximum enhancement an employer can award is the shortest of: 10 years; a period equal to your total reckonable service; a period which, when added to your reckonable service, gives you 40 years of service; a period equal to the service you could have completed had you remained in teaching until age THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS

19 Employers are under no obligation to award enhancement. Your branch secretary will normally have details of your authority s current enhancement policy. Severance payments Your employer could pay you a severance payment as an alternative to premature retirement. These payments are not available to teachers who have reached their normal pension age or to those who have been re-employed after taking premature retirement. They also cannot be paid to any teacher who is retiring on the grounds of ill-health or taking actuarially reduced benefi ts at the same time. Severance payments can be paid to teachers leaving service either on grounds of redundancy or on grounds of the effi cient discharge of their employer s functions. They may be paid in addition to a redundancy payment or they may replace a redundancy payment (e.g. where the employer offers the teacher the choice of taking either redundancy or voluntary severance). However, if the employer pays both, the amount of the redundancy payment reduces the maximum sum payable as a severance payment. There is, therefore, no necessity for a redundancy situation to exist for a severance payment to be made; a severance payment can be a golden handshake. However, it should be noted that severance payments and immediate payment of pensions benefi ts are mutually exclusive. In any event, the award of a severance payment is discretionary; it is not a matter of entitlement. The maximum severance payment is 104 weeks pay. Actuarially reduced benefits Members of the Teachers Pension Scheme are able to retire with their employer s consent and receive an actuarially reduced pension and lump sum 5. The reduced pension is payable for the remainder of the teacher s life 6. The amount of actuarial reduction depends on the teacher or lecturer s age in years and months at the time of their retirement and their normal pension age. Teachers Pensions will calculate the amount of your pension benefi ts due at the time of retirement and then pay the appropriate percentage. Please remember that the actuarial reduction will be applied to all of your pension including any additional pension you have purchased. Teachers who are in excluded employment, i.e. employment which would have been pensionable but for the fact that you have opted out of the Teachers Pension Scheme, or part-time employment that you have not elected to make pensionable, are not eligible to apply for actuarially reduced benefi ts. If you are in this position then you will need to cease this employment before your benefi ts can be paid. 5 To be eligible for actuarially reduced benefi ts a teacher must have reckonable service on or after 30 March Those teachers who left teaching prior to 30 March 2000 will have to wait until the age 60 to receive their pension benefi ts. 6 It is a popular misconception that actuarially reduced pensions revert to their full value when you reach normal pension age. The actuarial reduction applied at the time of retirement is permanent. ATL recommends that you seek fi nancial advice if you are considering applying for actuarially reduced pension benefi ts. There are different rates of actuarial reduction for pension and lump sum payments. There are different tables if you have a normal pension age of 60 or if you have a normal pension age of 65. Actuarial tables can be found on ATL s and the Teachers Pensions websites. THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS 17

20 Preserved benefits If you leave teaching before your normal pension age your pension benefi ts will be preserved in the Teachers Pension Scheme. You will be able to claim your pension benefi ts: from age 55 by applying for actuarially reduced benefi ts (see page 17 for qualifying conditions); from age 60 (if this is your normal pension age); from age 65 (if this is your normal pension age). Reaching normal pension age If you are out of reckonable service when you reach normal pension age then your pension benefi ts become payable immediately. There is no mechanism for your pension benefi ts to be put into payment automatically. You must claim your pension benefi ts from Teachers Pensions. If you are out of reckonable service and do not draw your pension benefi ts at your normal pension age then Teachers Pensions will calculate your benefi ts as if you had drawn them when they became due. Teachers Pensions will pay you your arrears of pension and lump sum (if applicable) including interest. Transferring to another pension scheme It is possible for you to transfer your benefi ts to another scheme. However, this is not always advantageous unless the new scheme is also within the public sector. An application to transfer pension benefi ts must be made within 12 months of joining a new pension scheme. Before considering transferring your pension benefi ts you should seek fi nancial advice. 18 THE ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS AND LECTURERS

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